This is about EVE Online

Archive for April, 2011

BlogBanter 26: EVE … beautiful …

Welcome to the twenty-sixth installment of the EVE Blog Banter, the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by CrazyKinux.  The EVE Blog Banter involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week or so to post articles pertaining to the said topic.  The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read!  Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed to  Check for other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

This month’s topic was proposed by @KatiaSae of the much praised “To Boldly Go” blog.  Katia asks: “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  As an astrophotographer, I’ve found it in the stars and planets of New Eden.  Where have you found it?  Perhaps you’ve found beauty in the ships we fly?  Maybe it’s the sight of profits being added to your bottom line?  Or maybe it’s the pilot portraits you see in the comm channels?  Where ever you’ve found it, write about it and post an image.”  Don’t be afraid go beyond the simple visual aspects of EVE as well.  Is the EVE Community in itself a thing of beauty?  What makes EVE the game, the world, the Community, so appealing to you?

Handown’s answer:

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”  I will tell you about what I found beautiful in EVE Online during my existence as a pod pilot (note the past tense).  I start through this argument.  We are all human beings looking for entertainment through a computer game.  As such, there is the underlying humanity of us beings, and as an older blog banter tried to ask, I do not think that a person can actually behave any different than his/her real self in an online game.  If this is the case, it’s a mental case.  Anyways, there are some underlying realities common between all of us pod pilots, and these realities are true both in real life and online.

Let us take relationships.  In particular, me being a male and all, I’ll use as an example the relationship between and man and a woman from the perspective of a man.  How does a relationship with a girl start?  “She hits your eye” would be a word-for-word translation from my native language (Maltese) to English.  There’s beauty written all over her and you want to get to know her, you want to spend time with her, think about her when you are doing other things, etc, etc … You all know the feeling I suppose.  Well after some time, maybe years, things change (no reference to better or worse is made here).  Your eye is not hit as much, although it is still pleased, but the woman starts to mean something else beyond the physical properties.  As time goes on, well, all this evolves into something, which is beyond the scope of this blog today.

My relationship with EVE Online is very similar to the above example.  I had a couple of games prior to EVE, and they were of the online-multiplayer type.  Note I am not saying MMO here as for me this is different.  Take a game like World in Conflict, you log on to a server, choose a room, participate in the fight, and that’s it.  The next game is with different people, maybe different map, but whether you win or you lose, you are not better or worse off, except for standings and rankings, which in effect do not mean anything, and maybe mood.  I am currently playing World of Tanks.  It is very similar to the above concept: you log in, shoot a couple of red tanks, and log off.  If you win the battle you earn experience points and credits which you need to research better tanks and modules; if you lose a battle you earn a few experience points and enough credits to repair your tanks, replenish the ammo, and have a couple of hundreds left.  Anyway it goes, you do not lose anything.

EVE Online is different.  It is a persistent environment and depending on the case, you stand to lose.

How did I come to meet her?

I was past my first session of examinations after many years of professional work life.  It was a Masters Degree course at the University by evening classes.  After this first session of stress (I had 6 such sessions in total) I saw a banner on some website saying “EVE Online, the universe is yours”.  I said to myself “What is EVE?”, “Is it the name of a game?”, “Who calls his game EVE, like a woman’s name?”

Anyways, I clicked, I downloaded the client, I registered and ran it the first time.

Wow, this is just like Elite!  The spaceships game I had on the Amiga way back in the early nineties.  I loved that game.  You could do anything in that game.  I liked that, and EVE was just like that, so I liked it too – you can say love at first sight.  I won’t bore you with my stupidities as a noob (btw, noob was a word I learned on EVE, as is btw, and all the other keyboard shortcuts to express emotions)  Man I still can’t understand how you can express yourself through lol, rofl, lmao, :), :P, ;P etc.  You kids are really weird sometimes.  (Just as a side note, I hear you kids drop your girls through SMS these days … in my days we had to face her either in person or on the phone to tell her that its over)

Anyways, EVE was beautiful (again, please note the past tense).  I liked the concept of player-driven market.  I liked the concept of a persistent universe with more than 60000 systems.  I liked the concept that you can own space for yourself.  I liked the concept of skill training, jump clones, implants, CONCORD, the 4 empires, Jove, the whole standings mechanism, the whole physics engine behind the game (although it lacks in immersion – for example I would add line-of-fire to the turrets in such a way that if a friendly or drone lies between your turret and your target at time of firing, it gets the damage – bye bye blobs … if only CCP would listen).  I liked it all.

Then one fine day I received an ingame mail.  I contacted the character who sent it and started a chat.  Believe it or not, I asked him/her whether he/she was a bot 🙂  This was at a time when I was still trying to fit a large autocannon on my velator and did not know how to place ammo in a gun – such was my level of noobness.  Anyways, this character was a recruiter and I joined this corp.  13 jumps or so away from Algogille at a time when autopilot was a completely alien concept to me.  Oh my first corporation!  I loved EVE even more for it.  I was a good corp member at the time, happy about the tax I paid, about my free contributions “for the corp”, etc  EVE was just addictive at this point.  I just could not stay away from my PC, both in body and mind.  Work started to feel my lack of attention and wife started to wonder who this EVE was and where I had met her (lol).  I was even entrusted the reigns of the corp as a CEO.

Then came null sec.  How can a game turn so sour?  All of a sudden this game became a chore, it is not a way to spend time idling anymore, it’s almost become a job.  Null sec leadership expect things of you – are we serious?!  This is a game, it does not have to mean anything to anyone other than a pass time.  These guys do things which are uncomprehensible to me in a game environment.

Then came the pvper/carebear distinction.  Hell this is outright ridiculous!  Why do I have to justify my gamestyle to anyone, let alone be reprimanded for behaving in a certain way.

At this point the relationship with EVE is past the hit-the-eye stage and it’s into the getting to know the real woman behind the makeup. A certain feeling started emerging in me, a feeling of “wtf?!”  By this time I was past the 20 million skillpoints mark, and had started to level up to 5 many high-ranking skills.

The final insult to injury came at this point.  It was not that I did not know about it, but I had to try it for myself to verify.  This is the realisation that solo you do not stand a chance, not even in the best fitted and most expensive ship hull.  Not that in itself it is an issue, as is the fact that “you do not stand a chance”.  A chance for what you ask?  A chance for winning, whatever winning is to you.  Think about it, have you ever felt that you won something in this game?  I’m not saying winning at skirmish or battle level, it’s more at the high level strategic level.  You are never any better, whatever your choice of game style.  It is always the same, you’re always running in circles. In fact, after some years people just quit, and that’s saying lots.

Nowadays I’m not subscribed to EVE anymore.  I still read many blogs about it daily, but I’m having a well deserved break.

Is EVE beautiful to you?  Not anymore, sorry.  I used to call it “A beautiful game”, now it’s just “a nice game”.


Player classifications

Have you ever had a look at the recruitment channel, or at the recruitment threads on the forums?

“Looking for pvp pilots” …

“Miners/Industrialists/Mission runners wanted” …

“… check them out, they have a pretty good killboard …”

Take me.  I do some mining every now and then, build some things every now and then, run a couple of missions, do some exploration, move stuff from A to B when needed, and when bored, go for a solo roam to the nearest red dots on the map (the fact that my battleclinic kb does not have recent kills/losses, doesn’t mean I don’t go out – it only means I loose ships less frequently).  What does this make me?  How do I answer to such adverts?

Take it one step to the generic.  Why classify players?  Is it not possible in EVE to do whatever you please as long as you have the skills for it?  It’s not like you choose a race and skills and can not change them, or do other things apart from the initial set.  Why the classification?

Is it related to mindset?  Because then I’m really sorry for whoever thinks this way.  EVE is a G A M E, nothing else.  Do you want a job?  Look for it in real life, not here, where it absolutely means nothing!  What are you going to earn by doing what you are told in this game?  ISK?  And what is the real life impact of that?  Wasted time?

A warm welcome

As a player who has been around the EVE Universe for many months, I have what are called Jump Clones.  These are clones of your body that you leave at convenient stations anywhere in New Eden.  When needed you can leave your current body in another station and jump to another body somewhere else.  It’s like your soul leaving one body and going in another body, in an instant.  You are limited to one jump per 24 hours.

Having been in DION for some months, I had 2 jump clones near their base of operations.  On Saturday I jumped to one of them because I wanted to sort out some assets.  If there is one thing I hate a lot is a long assets list; so I try to gather everything in few convenient places as much as possible.

So I jumped to my jump clone in 2P-.  DION are based in A-S, one jump away towards Cloud Ring.  So I made my way to A-S in a velator.  As expected their scout was stationed in 2P- cloaked, watching just in case any nice catch was flowing by.  Most probably there was “Handown, Velator, 2P” in the intel channel at the moment I undocked.

I was not expecting very warm welcomes, or anything for that matter; a simple “hello; hi; hallo; o/” would have been enough.  After all I did not leave as an enemy.  It is also true, I was now neutral to them, but still, the name should mean something!

Anyways, I docked up in A-S had a look around, then got the stealth bomber ready for undocking.  As soon as I did I found the CEO and one of his hound dogs waiting for me by the station.  As soon as I broke the session timer, insta lock and pointed; so naturally my reaction, dock again.  I know these guys can wait for many minutes for any kill, and that night I did not want to engage my old mates – because friendship and relationships to me mean something!  So me being way past those beginner’s days when I want to do something at all costs, and knowing that those guys would wait me out, I just left the client running all night, docked up in station.  I think they had a very enjoyable night.  Still nothing in local.

Then in the morning I checked back.  There was my old friend, to whom I said “hi”.  The guy seemed cautious and he offered me free passage out of A-S.  I said that I don’t need his acknowledgement or permission to fly wherever I want and whenever I want to, also in relative safety.  Still I reiterated my “hi” and this time he said it back.  We exchanged “fly safes” and that was it, I was on my way.

What really makes me wonder are the following questions that this incident brought up in my mind:

1. Is this all for the players I am sharing this game with?  All that matters is the killmail, no matter who’s on it?

2. Do they really think that I do not know how to fly?  A-S was my home for many months, don’t they think I know the place?  Is this what they think of their members?

On my way out I met a couple of goons in another system.  As soon as I jumped in I got:

[16:30:11] Razzor Death > handown

[16:30:14] Razzor Death > pod me on station

Do I look like I’m one to go looking for kills just for the lolz??  Just because YOU do that, doesn’t mean I do it too!

Turrets! Of Autocannons, Blasters and Pulse weapons

This post is dedicated to the analysis of short range turrets.  I have heard many capsuleers talk about the autocannon and how it allows you to dictate range, and about the highly situational nature of the blasters.  I have never until now got their stats in one table and did my own comparisons.  So here it is, for my own benefit not to lose the information gathered, and for all you my readers.

The analysis considers small turrets only, keeping in mind that the pattern repeats itself on the mediums and heavy guns.  It also considers the T2 versions; once again the ratios remain the same across the whole meta range.  Also note that these are the base values which will be modified through the skills; again, the ratios remain unaltered for the same skill levels.

Tracking (rad/s)
Name of turret Value %
125mm Gatling AutoCannon II 0.417 1.00
Light Electron Blaster II 0.365 0.88
150mm Light AutoCannon II 0.362 0.87
Light Ion Blaster II 0.336 0.81
Light Neutron Blaster II 0.317 0.76
200mm AutoCannon II 0.315 0.76
Gatling Pulse Laser II 0.308 0.74
Dual Light Pulse Laser II 0.274 0.66
Medium Pulse Laser II 0.246 0.59

We start by looking at tracking.  This number represents how fast a turret is able to rotate.  In practical terms it relates to how fast and close a ship can orbit you and still be hit.  The higher it is, the better.

Optimal range (m)
Name of turret Value %
Medium Pulse Laser II 6000 1.00
Dual Light Pulse Laser II 5400 0.90
Gatling Pulse Laser II 4800 0.80
Light Neutron Blaster II 1800 0.30
Light Ion Blaster II 1500 0.25
Light Electron Blaster II 1200 0.20
200mm AutoCannon II 1200 0.20
150mm Light AutoCannon II 1080 0.18
125mm Gatling AutoCannon II 960 0.16

Optimal range is also a value taken directly from the stats of the items.  This represents how far out the turret can throw its damage.  At this range, full damage can be dealt.  Complementing this is the falloff value, also very important, but due to the high optimal of the pulse weapons, falloff of the others becomes irrelevant.

Name of turret Value %
Light Neutron Blaster II 1.20 1.00
Light Ion Blaster II 1.13 0.94
Light Electron Blaster II 1.05 0.88
Medium Pulse Laser II 1.03 0.86
200mm AutoCannon II 0.92 0.77
Dual Light Pulse Laser II 0.89 0.74
150mm Light AutoCannon II 0.88 0.73
Gatling Pulse Laser II 0.86 0.71
125mm Gatling AutoCannon II 0.83 0.69

This value is calculated by taking the ‘damage modifier’ and dividing it by the ‘rate of fire’.  The higher this number, the more damage per second the turret does.  In this category nothing beats the blasters.

Tracking DPS
Name of turret Value %
Light Electron Blaster II 0.383 1.00
Light Neutron Blaster II 0.380 0.99
Light Ion Blaster II 0.378 0.99
125mm Gatling AutoCannon II 0.344 0.90
150mm Light AutoCannon II 0.318 0.83
200mm AutoCannon II 0.291 0.76
Gatling Pulse Laser II 0.264 0.69
Medium Pulse Laser II 0.253 0.66
Dual Light Pulse Laser II 0.243 0.63

Whilst DPS is important, it quickly becomes irrelevant if you cannot hit your target.  In this table, we take the DPS calculated earlier and multiply it with the tracking speed.  The higher the number, the more we are assured that our damage hits the target.  A major assumption of this table is that the target is within the optimal range of the guns.  Once again, in this category nothing beats the blasters and the pulse weapons lose their position to the autocannons.  Consider this table if you are sure you are the one to dictate range during the engagement.

Range Tracking DPS
Name of turret Value %
Medium Pulse Laser II 1773.0 1.00
Dual Light Pulse Laser II 1496.5 0.84
Gatling Pulse Laser II 1333.7 0.75
Light Neutron Blaster II 1158.4 0.65
200mm AutoCannon II 1047.8 0.59
150mm Light AutoCannon II 1043.3 0.59
125mm Gatling AutoCannon II 1018.3 0.57
Light Ion Blaster II 945.0 0.53
Light Electron Blaster II 747.3 0.42

Sometimes it is very difficult to get close to a target for using effectively the blasters.  It is very common to find yourself between 5km and 10km from a target, and this is a good range if you want to use your full ship speed, maintain a decent orbit, and make effective use of the speed tanking tactic.  It is also important to make sure that your guns are tracking effectively the target, otherwise it becomes useless to shoot.

This table considers all these factors.  The value represents DPS x optimal range x tracking.

Range Tracking
Name of turret Value %
Gatling Pulse Laser II 741 1.00
Dual Light Pulse Laser II 624 0.84
Medium Pulse Laser II 493 0.66
125mm Gatling AutoCannon II 411 0.56
Light Electron Blaster II 356 0.48
150mm Light AutoCannon II 351 0.47
200mm AutoCannon II 302 0.41
Light Ion Blaster II 280 0.38
Light Neutron Blaster II 276 0.37

If you are looking for a gun that hits something no matter what, the Gatling Pulse Laser II is the one for you.  This table considers only range and tracking.  High ranking guns in this table could be ideal to get those troublesome drones off your back, or scare away that tackler!